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Smart Phone Apps Spying on Users

Smart phoneCorporations including Social networks and software  houses are using smartphone apps especially free ones as ‘fronts’ to allow them to spy on cameras, intercept calls, users’ text messages, and even track their location, it was revealed to the public and media.

Users are normally just keen on installing chosen apps and readily agree to accepting lengthy small-print terms and conditions when downloading apps. However, users little realise that they are in-fact giving developers the right to harvest vast swathes of private information.

Facebook insists that people using its Android smartphone app agree to give them permission to read their text messages, although the internet giant said it had not yet taken advantage of this right. Users will not doubt dismiss this given Facebook’s past history.

 

The problem affects all the popular platforms. However, Android has less stringent safeguards, compared to Apple with their iOS system.

Social media sites Yahoo! and Flickr are also alleged to read text messages via their apps, while apps from smaller companies allow them to extract private details about users’ lives. They can even remotely take images from users’ handset cameras and even dial their phone and intercept calls without them knowing.

Privacy campaigners criticised the abuse of personal information. Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, described the apps market as ‘an unregulated Wild West’.

These details are often sold on to advertisers and market research companies, exposing those downloading the apps to unwanted advertising and spam messages.


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